Over the years, we’ve seen the same old Instagram themes pass our desks like we’re sure you’ve seen on your screens. Black and white themes, puzzles themes, and every-second-upload-is-a-quote-themes. But let’s be real: they’re all a bit yesteryear now. There’s a bit of an art to creating a downright tasty Instagram theme. So starting off without clear guidelines can make the whole process pretty tricky. We’ve pulled together 13 of the freshest Instagram themes of 2021 and fleshed out exactly how to recreate them for your own brand. Note that outright copying an Instagram feed is not what we’re condoning here. Rather, using these eye-catching feeds to inspire your own kind of Insta-grid magic. And your own signature look. Let’s get started! What is an Instagram Theme (and Why Do You Need It) The term – Instagram theme – relates to the overall aesthetics of your account and the way you present your brand to anyone discovering you on Instagram. Needless to say, the theme is how you stand out to a new visitor initially. It’s the first thing a person notices after landing on your account, after all. Having the right Instagram theme, therefore, is one of the ways to winning more followers. Your theme could be simple, of course. It can focus on a single color only. Or you could use a complex, multicolor theme with a specific or seasonal style applied to it. But as long as you make it consistent overall (and also, consistent with your brand,) you’ll be more likely to make a good first impression, connect with, and engage a new potential follower. What to Remember When Choosing a Theme for Instagram Instagram themes are a great way to curate beautiful Instagram feeds. But remember to keep your overall brand experience in mind. If you’re looking to implement a new theme, will this make sense when paired with your other content? Will people click through your bio link and be welcomed with a similar aesthetic? Use Instagram themes to help enhance your brand aesthetic on Instagram, but not to completely change it. Instagram Themes You’ll Find In This Post: Golden Minimalism Sunset Tones Modern and Clean Movement Textured Beauty Colour Pops Earthy Colour Transitions Content Rows Frame Play Pastel and Pretty Block, Bright Backgrounds Single Focus Colour Redefining Frame 1. Golden Minimalism Like the warmth of summer and shimmering exclusive jewels, the Golden Minimalism Instagram theme shines with feelings of unique beauty, luxe experiences, and simple statements. Example: Stevie Jean Jewellery From the creators: “We plan out our weekly schedule by using a template which allows us to see the week at a bird’s eye view,” says Stevie Jean Jewellery Co-Founder, Samara Baunach. “This allows us to place each image in the best-suited order according to previous posts and colorways. We try to keep a good mix of images flowing or a ‘pattern’ so we will either post 3 of a similar image or rotate between, say, a hand shot, flat lay, and then a campaign image. Our color themes are kept earthy and minimal always ensuring that the jewelry is the focal point of the image.” How to replicate it: This theme cleverly combines soft textures and structured shapes, all brought together by imagery incorporating golden hues. By ensuring each image has one focal point, a minimal look is achieved. It’s a good idea to keep backdrops block light or white background colors to give a more minimalist feel to the grid. Mix human elements with lifestyle posts and product showcases for the ultimate effect. Best suited for: Jewelry Brands Homeware Brands Decor Brands Skincare Brands Beauty Brands Instagram Theme checklist: Is there an element of gold in each post? Does each image or video have a single focal element? Is there a light or airy backdrop to posts? New Ebook: Social Media Planning for professionals Grab Your Guide to Social Media Planning Success. Carve hours out of your workflow with this advanced ebook. 2. Sunset Tones Teaming fresh blushes with earthy browns and fresh teal coloring, the Sunset Tones theme offers Autumn vibes, natural motifs and creative product focus. Example: Spell & the Gypsy Collective From the creators: “We plan our feed based on lots of different content,” says Mel Carrero, Spell & The Gypsy Collective’s PR and Marketing Manager. “…Our campaigns, flat lay, influencer, and community content! Images are coming from all over the world and if we have a collection where the tones can blend together as our print colors do, we do that. We love to be always mixing it up so there’s lots of different content not just visually but in substance too!” How to replicate it: This is one of the Instagram themes that has a big focus on the curation of content and color. To replicate this theme, opt for imagery with the tones of sunsets for a natural and effortlessly fresh look. Best suited for: Fashion Brands Outdoorsy Brands Location-Focussed Brands Lifestyle Brands Instagram Theme checklist: Does each image have a composition made up of sunset shades? Are warm hues teamed with cool tones? Have colours been evenly dispersed across content types? 3. Modern and Clean Fresh, bright and airy. There is a real art to achieving the Modern and Clean Instagram theme. Using light colors, contrasted with bright examples, this theme mixes product photos, quotes, and a few human elements. Example: Smack Bang Designs From the creators: “As a design agency, the way we visually communicate our brand is always at the front of our mind when scheduling our socials,” says Smack Bang Designs’ Marketing Coordinator, Emma Camden. “Although, we do love to push the boundaries of the minimal and clean approach of our aesthetics by providing a bold pop of color – or even the occasional meme. Ultimately, our feed is thoughtfully curated with input from both our design and marketing teams. This allows us to employ the two most influential aspects of Instagram; aesthetic and strategy.” How to replicate it: This theme works best for pastel and light color schemes. Create branded graphics with bold backgrounds and avoid patterns. By ensuring that each image has negative space around a single focal point, will achieve a minimalist look, while placing emphasis on the content within an image. Best suited for: Design Brands Branding Agencies Creative Agencies Instagram Theme checklist: Does the image or video have one focal point? Is the image or video free from patterns? Does the grid mix text, product and human elements? Create a stunning Instagram feed your followers will love. Sked Social is your tool for designing your feed, growing your followers, and telling your brand story. Start your free trial 4. Movement The Movement Instagram theme is comprised of bold imagery captured in motion. With a strong focus on the human element, each image is inspired by dynamic and active content. Example: F45 How to replicate it: Curate a collection of imagery that captures people moving, in action and mid-task. For every second image, post content with text to give the cross-section look, like in the example above. For content that doesn’t include a human element, share content that has been in movement (for example, the cooked casserole post, instead of raw ingredients before being cooked. Best suited for: Exercise Brands Health Brands Leisure Brands Wellbeing Brands Instagram Theme checklist: Does the image or video have an element of movement? Is there a human element in 75% of the content? Is text included in every second post? 5. Textured Beauty There are many things we love about Frank Body’s Instagram presence. And their Instagram Theme is one of them. The Textured Beauty theme mixes a range of surfaces to give audiences and almost ‘three-dimensional’ experience. Example: Frank Body How to replicate it: Mix imagery and video with a range of textures. Think water, skin, earth, packaging, animals. Depending on your particular industry or brand, these textures may vary. But we encourage you to get creative! Best suited for: Beauty Brands Fashion Brands Swimwear Brands Instagram Theme checklist: Does each image or video have a distinct texture included in it? Does each product-based post on Instagram have a human element in it? Have you shared different textures in the last three posts? 6. Colour Pops Since Instagram is a highly visual platform, playing with colour can have a pretty impactful effect. Mixing black and white Instagram photos with subtle colour pop help to emphasise specific elements of posts without taking away from the overall aesthetic. It also helps to extend your brand’s messaging with quick reminders of your branding elements such as branded colours. Example: Damn Write From the creators: “For me, it’s super important that I provide valuable, useful advice to people”, says Damn Write founder, Ami Williamson. “So I tend to focus on copy and marketing tips when planning content”, she continues. “The pops of colour were an intentional choice to stand out in the feed and links back to the Damn Write brand personality.” How to replicate it: In every second post, have a single pop of colour on a plain background. For other posts, play with black and white imagery with more distinctive fully black or slightly grey backgrounds. Hot Tip: Use Sked Social’s photo editing software to change colour photos to black and white. You can also create branded graphics in Canva from within the Sked Social interface. Best suited for: Informative Brands Brands who share many tips Brands with a strong emphasis on shareable content Instagram Theme checklist: Does every second image have a pop of colour? Is every other image black and white with a solid background? Are colour pops within your brand’s colour palette? 7. Earthy Colour Transitions For some brands, a consistently similar Instagram theme just isn’t enough. And to keep content fresh, they explore transitional content. By teaming neutral backgrounds with coloured focal points that change throughout the theme, interesting aesthetics take flight. Example: Birkenstock How to replicate it: This is one of the Instagram themes where you’ll need to truly be prepared in advance. Colour transitions could be used to reflect seasons, new collections, settings and more. Make sure the background or general scene is consistent for at least three posts. Then gently guide the transition by integrating new, but similar colour compositions. For example, Birkenstock uses green grass in some images before transitioning to more luscious forest green hedging. Best suited for: Fashion Brands Travel Brands Outdoorsy Brands Instagram Theme checklist: Do a collection of three posts in a row share a background with similar colours? Is the next colour palette subtly included in previous posts before making the transition? Does the colour scheme of the posts change within every three to six images? 8. Content Rows Whether you regularly host three-post series or just love the effect of repetition in your content, the Content Rows Instagram theme sure packs a punch on the grid. Example: Zeppelin Barbers How to replicate it: Keep the colours used in your imagery consistent. If you’re feeling creative, this could mean that you use transitional colours as your feed continues on. Simply by keeping these consistent colours and posting three of the same or similar photos in a row, you’ll achieve this effect. A special note must be made to ensure that each individual post has different types of value. For example, labelling each ‘PART 1’ through to three, with fresh content across each post. This way, your engagement rate shouldn’t be affected too harshly for posting similar content multiple times. Best suited for: Magazine Brands Leisure Brands Creative Brands Instagram Theme checklist: Does each post share a similar colour palette? Are three posts in a row of similar imagery? Have slight variations between images in a row been made? 9. Frame Play If Instagram’s usual square photo format just isn’t doing it for you any more, a Frame Play Instagram theme could be right up your alley. Mixing different shapes and types of frames will leave you with an alternative and interesting look. Example: Givenchy How to replicate it: Experiment with different types of frames and scatter them throughout your feed to achieve this look. From just away from the edges, right through to portrait and landscape options. Mix and match as you please. As you can see in the example above, Givenchy has played with three of the same frames in a row, then an alternative one in the bottom left corner. Givenchy also has similar locations showcased in each row. Keep this in mind when planning your content. Hot tip: To keep the high-quality resolution of your content, stick with the 1080x1080px post dimensions, this can be done directly in Sked where frames can be applied to any image while keeping its quality. Best suited for: Brands with photography from a range of settings Fashion Brands Edgy Brands Instagram Theme checklist: Has a frame been applied to each image? Do image rows share the same or similar locations? Have frame dimensions been intentionally chosen for the image or video? 10. Pastel and Pretty Blanketed by a dreamy pastel hue, the Pastel and Pretty Instagram theme combines a soft colour palette with natural textures and structured lines. Example: The Indigo Shop How to replicate it: Mix soft textures and pastel colours with natural structures and the softness of nature for a feminine yet fierce look. Best suited for: Fashion Brands Beauty Brands Wellness Brands Empowering Brands Instagram Theme checklist: Do all images share pastel colouring? Are soft textures contrasted with structured lines? Are all images free of neon, bold or bright colours? 11. Block, Bright Backgrounds Inspired by the colours of pop art and the 80s, the Instagram theme using Block, Bright Backgrounds celebrates all that is filled with colour, personality and fun. Example: Boost Juice How to replicate it: Post bold, bright backgrounds in every second photo to evenly spread the colours around the grid. For all other imagery, have at least one key bright colour included. This will give the grid flow and distribution of colours that aren’t too overwhelming. As you can see in the example above, Boost Juice has chosen to use ingredients in their block colour background posts and more promotional, personal and interactive content on the other days. Best suited for: Personality-Packed Brands Hospitality Brands Energetic Brands Fresh, Young and Fun Brands Instagram Theme checklist: Does every second post have a bold and bright background? Does every other post have a pop of colour? Are colours evenly distributed for ultimate effect? 12. Single Focus Colour Showcasing a single Focus Colour for a brand, this theme is for brands who are clear about their visual representation and confident that their brand message is easily associated with their individual colour choice. Example: McDonald’s How to replicate it: We can learn a lot from super-brand McDonald’s use of a Single Focus color in their chosen Instagram theme. Do you think it’s a coincidence that McDonald’s logo color is the exact same as their cheese? We don’t! If your brand chooses to use this theme, scatter your exact branding colour throughout your feed. McDonald’s logo also appears in seven of their nine posts (couldn’t find the seventh? It’s under the burger – clever). For smaller brands, this could be logo overload, but for aspiring brand-builders, this Instagram theme could be a goal for the future! Best suited for: Global Brands Established Brands Cult-Following Brands Instagram Theme checklist: Is your brand’s signature colour in every post? Do you evenly distribute color percentages of content (i.e. not bombarding your audience with full focus color in every post)? Is your focus colour associated with your brand throughout the content? 13. Redefining Frame One of the more creative Instagram themes, Redefining Frame repositions the way we share content by incorporating human elements and interesting ways of presenting imagery. Example: Smalltown Artlab How to replicate it: Print out the content you would like to share and position it in creative ways, or have other people hold it like we can see in Smalltown Artlab’s example above. Best suited for: Creative Brands Artistic Brands Photography Brands Instagram Theme checklist: Does the content hero one piece of content? Does each post have a ‘content-within-content’ layout? Have human and non-human elements been balanced? New Ebook: Instagram Strategy Secrets of Top Brands Grab the secrets of brands like Skechers, Random House and Facebook detailed by the strategists who manage them. Over to You Inspiration for your Instagram theme can be found anywhere you look. But to truly stand out, your Instagram theme should be unique to your business or brand. This will help you extend your Brand Story and show what makes you different from others in your field of expertise. Some questions to ask yourself when developing your Instagram themes are: Does this theme feel authentic to my brand? Have I developed my own flavour to the theme? Is this an Instagram theme that makes sense for existing visuals? Now run wild and explore the land of Instagram theme integration. Did you know that Sked Social allows you to carve 5+ hours out of your day? Yes, it’s true! With Sked Social you can schedule Instagram, Facebook and Twitter in advance, automatically post hashtags in your first comment, tag accounts, locations and products – plus, invite team members or clients in to collaborate and review. See what all the fuss is about, with your free 7-day trial today!